Have you ever wondered how you could connect with your authentic self and build your confidence? In this episode, Camille welcomes Ali Levine, a celebrity stylist, lifestyle expert, and founder of Ali Levine Design, which features a star-studded portfolio of top celebrities. She’s also a mompreneur and hosts her podcast, Everything with Ali Levine, and offers Breathe In with Ali Levine, a 21-day program in mindfulness and breathwork.
I always say confidence is your best accessory and it truly is. Another piece I’ve learned over the years from styling to motherhood is authenticity is your superpower. And so, when you marry those two, you’re unstoppable, no matter where you are, no matter who you are.
Ali shares her journey in how she became comfortable in the uncomfortable, whether it was through building her own brand or dealing with motherhood. She gives her advice on how to embrace transformations and how you can set your intentions and boundaries to create space and opportunities to grow.
If you’re feeling either burned out or you’re feeling like you have something burning inside of you, but you’re afraid because you’ve never been in that space before or it feels uncomfortable, when you get uncomfortable, that’s when the gold happens.
Whether you’re currently going through a transformational change or are planning to set your intentions and boundaries for the new year, tune into this episode as Avi shares the ways in which she was able to grow and transform in her roles as a business owner and a mother.
If we honor ourselves and honor our emotions, we can come into the space of true authenticity. We can figure out what works for us and what doesn’t.
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ALI LEVINE [0:00]
Wow, this is the transformation. This is the feeling of taking that step from that comfortable to uncomfortable and really being like, "Wow. I can own this and I can be in a new space, but still be within my own comfort zone and build my new comfort zone."
CAMILLE WALKER [0:21]
So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice? How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women. This is Call Me CEO.
Welcome everyone to 2022. I cannot believe it. This is actually year two of Call Me CEO and I am so grateful for all of you who have listened dutifully week to week and sent me DMs or just talked to me in person and said, "Thank you." And thank you. I feel so honored to share these women's stories and to be a part of a movement of celebrating women and their accomplishments and what that means for our lives moving forward.
Now, this interview I have today is all about connecting with your authentic self, learning how to set intentions in your day. And I love the idea of that, of rather than setting a hard line in the sand New Year's resolution, setting out for intentions of how you want to feel and what are the steps that you're going to take to get a little bit uncomfortable to create space for opportunity, to create space for becoming comfortable in the uncomfortable and also having opportunity to grow?
I am going to be launching my VA in 60 Days course, 60 Days to VA, very soon. I have a waitlist that is on my website right now at www.camillewalker.co/VA. And if you are listening to this episode and you think that creating a business from home as a virtual assistant is a good fit for you, I would love to have you as one of my students. It is a really intimate space where we get to know each other really well with a course that's written and done for you, how to build a business from scratch, as well as weekly live trainings from me. So, please tune into that.
I would love to have you as a part of that group and it is most likely going to be in early to mid-February, maybe March. I’m recording this in December and I haven't totally nailed down the dates. But if you're interested and you want to be in that group of people, if you are on that waitlist, you get special incentives and even a discount to my course. So, I hope that you'll join me.
And now, let's dive into today's episode. Today is an interview with my friend Ali Levine, who is a designer born in New York City. She was able to work with people in the design business. Now, we're talking she worked with people right in the heart of Coach, Talbots, and Target. She helped open Target in New York City, you guys, which is just amazing. And through that, she also started to work with celebrities in New York City, which led her into really defining her love for personal design, clothing, what people were wearing in their professional lives as celebrities and people that you see on the red carpet. It's not them choosing their outfits. It's someone else and that's what Ali Levine decided she wanted to do.
So, she moved to California and pursued that career and she became known as the "it" girl of celebrity styling and star-studded portfolio with top names like Jesse McCartney, Arianny Celeste, Holly Robinson Peete, Joey King, Gretchen Rossi, and more. Clients have received best-dressed across the board featured on national magazine covers and red carpet looks and more.
What's really awesome is that Ali is a new mom. She has two children, girls, Amelia and Arley and they are darling little girls who changed her perspective on everything. And in this episode, we're going to talk about how her perspective did change and how she created new alignment and intention with what she wanted from her life. So, you're going to hear about those changes that she made. You're going to hear a lot about what you too can do to be in line with what you want and getting comfortable with the comfortable. Let's dive in.
Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This is Camille Walker, your host. And today, I'm so thrilled because we have Ali Levine with Ali Levine Design and she's going to walk us through her journey of being in the personal style industry, which for celebrities and businesses and companies that you know very well, we're talking she's worked with Coach and Talbots and Target and a bunch of really amazing people. But what's really cool about her is that she's all about authenticity, doing things with intention, and building your confidence. So, Ali, thank you so much for being with us today.
Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. I know we've been trying to make this happen for a minute. Mom life schedules and everything else, so I'm very excited to be here with you.
Yeah. And you know what? It's one of those things where everyone listening I'm sure understands trying to meet up with your friends or someone that you're wanting to get together with where things don't work out. And now, finally we're getting together and I'm like, "Yes! Finally, the stars have aligned."
I know. We're going to make this happen. I got my daughter, my baby down, for her nap earlier on. I was like, "You're going down earlier today because I'm not going to pretend like this is going to happen if I don’t." Because for all the audience, my baby's been teething, and all the things normal mom life, but it's been a real surrender for me. So, I was so excited when this finally aligned today. So, I'm really excited to chat.
Thank you. So, for those of you who are listening, this is probably at the beginning of the new year, but we are recording this on December the 14th, so right in the midst of the crazy. Yeah. So, Ali, you've had a lot of crazy things going on recently with the move. And I want you to introduce us to yourself and your family. And then, we'll dive back into when you started your business and how you were able to do so many fun things.
Okay. Cool, so yeah. I'm Ali and I call myself a mompreneur. I wear many hats. I do many things, as most of us moms do. And I'm a mom of two girls, Amelia and Arley, three and a half and 18 months. I'm married to my husband, Justin, and we have lived in California for over a decade. We recently moved to Tennessee. We've relocated about almost five, six months ago now. It was summertime, gone by so quick. It's been a really cool, fun, crazy adventure getting adjusted into a new state and a whole new life. But we really love our new home and our just whole setup here.
Honestly, I'm very spiritual and I feel this whole thing was very God-led. And I told my husband when I was pregnant with my daughter Arley back in 2020 that I had a dream that we were going to move. And he was like, "What?" And I was like, "Yeah." I don’t even know why and it kept coming to me and coming to me. And long story short, I started journaling and I began meditation. And I was really asking for answers. And I just kept hearing I was moving. I know it was going to happen. And then, obviously none of us knew the world was going to be crazy and things played out the way they did and I just kept being told that we were going to move.
And between the world shifting and everyone's lives changing, it opened up the space for us to be remote all we do, including my styling work and everything I was doing. I no longer had to be in the world of everyday craziness. And so, I didn't have to be in the business of going to events every single day and the chaos. I think so many of us learned in the world of things changing of 2020 how much we were all on autopilot. I know I certainly did of just constant going and grind and never stopping and how almost, in my opinion, unhealthy that was.
And I think for me, it was a real lesson that started, I would say, in motherhood when I first became a mom with Amelia. It really came full throttle when the pandemic hit and everything that played out. And so, that was when it was like, "Okay. You know what? We're going to make a change and we're going to change our lives and we can do things remotely." And so, that's how we wound up in Tennessee and it's been a blessing being able to work from home and still do everything differently.
My TV segments are from home now. I'm not going to all these different studios, which is a total change and a total mindset shift, which has been a whole thing for me learning as well and the, I don't like to say juggle, balance, I say harmony of my motherhood really fulltime at home and my career at home, but it's been really a blessing. And my husband also works from home. His company has been aimed to do things remotely, so it's been really cool that we've gotten to continue our journeys, but in a new place, in a new space.
And yeah, you talked about styling. I started in the styling world, I’m originally from New York and moved out to California about 10 years ago. I've always lived in New York, so I was always in the fashion there and I worked in corporate design as you mentioned Coach and Talbots and Lacoste and Fendi and many other places in private development and design. And then, when the stock market crashed back in 2008, my jobs just went obsolete, like for most people. And I was like, "Oh my gosh. What am I going to do?" I thought I had my whole life figured out and I was doing so well in fashion and nope, can't do that. That doesn't have jobs available right now.
And that was when I really started figuring out, what else I could do in the fashion space? And that was when I dove in the entertainment industry. And in New York at that time, movies were really happening and being made. And so, that when I worked for Oliver Stone as my first real job in the industry as a production assistant basically as I talk to everyone, if you will. I just ran with coffee and donuts and whatever I need to do, but I had a job and I was getting to work in the industry and I get to learn from one of the best. Oliver Stone is probably one of the most amazing and insane bosses I've ever had.
And that's where I started in the industry as a production assistant and getting to just basically run around and do the PA work and office work and coffee and donuts. You name it, whatever they needed, 2 AM, go feed my cat, okay I'm doing it. It was like whatever they needed. And then, from there, I did a bunch more movies. I eventually got into the costume side of things, got to really work in the shopping and helping with clothing.
Really fell in love with the confidence, as you spoke to, of what people feel. They put the clothing on, the costumes on, how it transformed them. And I really loved being a part of it and that's when I realized, "Okay. I really want to be in this space and this is what I want to be doing." Now, stylists weren't really a term back then. Rachel Zoe hadn't really had her stuff take off, I feel like coined the term of the stylist. Other big stylists weren't really known yet, so it was more of just costume shopping. So, that was what I dove into.
And then, I got asked to go to Atlanta and I worked on a Big Momma's House with Martin Lawrence 2 or 3 when I worked in Atlanta. And then, that brought me up to Los Angeles. I met the team there and half of them were from LA and they were like, "What are you doing in New York?" And I was like, "I've been in New York my whole life." And they were like, "If you want to do this, you need to be in LA." And so, not many times, someone turned to you and not only give you a path and guidance, but actually give you an answer and say, "Hey, we'll help you get in the industry further. We will get you into the union. We will do all of these things if you essentially give us a couple years of your time and we'll make it a win-win." And I was like, "Wow. How many opportunities do you get to be like, 'I'll basically take care of you?'" So, that was it. I turned to my now husband, who was my boyfriend Justin, and said, "I'm going to LA."
Yeah. I was going to say, how did he respond to that?
He was like, "Wait, what?" We literally had just gotten into our apartment right outside of the city in Hoboken, New Jersey. We moved in together. And we were still new and he was like, "Okay." And being the good man he is and still is, he was so supportive. And he was like, "I'm in between jobs." He was doing jobs, but he wasn't doing anything he loved. And he was like, "I'll go with you." And I was like, "Okay." And so, off to LA we went, got a really good apartment. Everybody was like, "You're insane." I'll never forget his mom calling me and being like, "You're taking my only son 3,000 miles away." And I was like, "Okay. Pack your bags. We're going on a field trip."
Out to LA we went and I got very quickly into the industry from then after doing a couple years of the costume side, really realized that I was not in love with the costume design. It wasn't fueling my soul. I was feeling like something was missing and that when I started having conversations with people in the industry that were like, "I think you want more of that styling, that fast pace, that shopping that you were doing as an assistant, but you want that full throttle." And I was like, "Yeah. I think that is what I want."
And, of course, even though I had all of this experience of the industry, I didn't have styling experience. So, I had to start over again and started interning and assisting for all different stylists like Monica Rose, who worked with the Kardashians years ago and Renelou Padora with Kanye West and Roberts Stylist Jessica and all these different people to get my name in there and to learn. So, I interned and then eventually started assisting. And after a little bit more time and blood, sweat, and tears, I started then getting asked to dress these random D-listers, if you will, in California that were nobody, but they were like, "Hey. I saw you worked with so and so and we could use your help." And no one would pay me, but it was like, "I get to work in style somebody? Yeah, okay. I'll do it."
So, all of a sudden, I was dressing all these different people. And then, I was getting called to all these agencies, dressed different people, and before you knew it, some people were people actually that were known. And I'm still working for free and just dressing people and just getting my name out there, building my portfolio. I think a lot of times, people don't realize especially the styling world, you have to really pay your dues. I know you pay your dues in every industry, don’t get me wrong, but there's something about the styling world and entertainment world where you really pay your dues and you are expected to do a lot for free especially as an assistant and an intern, all those things, as you grow and as you build. And it's part of your portfolio and what you're building.
And so, I was working still part-time for Kanye West's stylist, but then I was doing part-time just free work styling all these different clients just to build my own clientele. And then, over time, clients would start to get best-dressed on red carpets and get big names on magazines. And that was when Ali Levine Design was born. I really didn't even know where it was going or what I was doing. It just took a life of its own and I started getting my own clients. And that was when I was like, "Okay. I'm going to go off on my own and start my own company because here are my clients. Here it is."
Even to this day, it's such a whirlwind surreal when I think about how this actually came together and my business. It was essentially born, it felt overnight, even though it was not. And from there, I just started working on red carpets and TV and press junkets and music videos and magazines and you name it. Then I was featured in New York Times a few weeks later, which was huge for my career, which was so unexpected.
I'll never forget that phone call. I was sitting with my husband and we were sitting out in our little condo in Tulelake, where we had moved when we got married. And we were sitting just having a little breakfast and we were just chatting and my phone rings. And it's a Sunday and I'm like, "Who's calling me?" I get on the phone like, "Hi, this is so and so from The New York Times." And I covered the phone and I looked at him, I'm like, "Someone from The New York Times." And he was like, "Wait, what?" And I was like, "Do you think it's real? Am I being catfished or what?" And it was real and they were like, "Can we come interview you today?" And I'm in my pajamas. And by the way, we had just moved into our little condo, so we didn't have anything. We had a table where we were sitting eating our breakfast. So, I was like, "Sure." And they were like, "Okay, great." And they show up. I'll never forget. They were trying to set up the space and I was like, "We don't have any furniture. We just moved in." It was such a moment of the check off boxes in your life and it's like, "Oh my god. This is not what I pictured this to look like."
But it was really amazing and they did this article on me and all about business tips and fashion and confidence and it was amazing. And from there, honestly it just took off. I started getting even more clientele and really started falling into the business of fashion. That's when I really realized from dressing so many celebrities on red carpet how important their confidence was. I started really tuning into the frequency of how people really would feel transformed from the inside out and outside in and what clothing would do for them and not that it was just about this trend and this look and what they were wearing. Because, of course, those things are "important" to people in that world, but to me, it was like how do they feel?
And it was really interesting because I got challenged a lot by managers, agents, higher-ups who would be like, "I just want them to wear this because this is what's on trend." And I'd be like, "I get that, but they don't look comfortable in that. And if they do that, they're not going to get best-dressed because they're going to be showing that they're not comfortable in that." And so, that was an ongoing battle for me for years of like, "Just do your job. I hired you to dress them. Just dress for them." And for Ali, it was like, "But I see it as a soul level. How intentional can I be with what I'm putting them in? How do I transform them and have them feel good?"
I always say confidence is your best accessory and it truly is. Another piece I've learned over the years from styling to motherhood is authenticity is your super power. And so, when you marry those two, you're unstoppable, no matter where you are, no matter who you are. And so, when I started really diving into that in the styling world and challenging people like, "But how do you feel in it and how does it feel to you? What does it do for you and does it light you up?" And they would look at me like, "I feel good in it." I was like, "Okay. You feel good in it or you feel like you're going to walk this red carpet and you're going to take the next award?" And then, when you start having those conversations, it was transformational.
And all of a sudden, I'm watching clients of mine get booked on new movie roles like Kearran Giovanni all of a sudden was getting booked in these huge movies, who hadn't been seen in years. And then, Holly Robinson Peete, who hadn't been on a project in years, all of a sudden getting a hit TV show and everyone's saying she looks better than she did 20 years ago. And it's like, "Wow. There's something way bigger to this than just clothing and just styling." And that's when it really took a life of its own and that's when I really fell in love with everything I was doing.
And then, when I became a mom, I lost that confidence because I think most moms do or at least a lot of us do and I definitely did between my traumatic birth and then my post-partum depression really took me down a very dark hole, if you will. And when I came out of it, I realized like, "Wow. I teach people confidence all the time, but I'm not confident." Somehow, I lost my confidence and why is that? And I started realizing it was because I wasn't getting dressed.
When you're a new mom, what do you do? You're basically nursing or formula feeding and you're just in your pajamas or you're barely surviving. It's hard to become a mom. We don't know what to do. We know our schedule's grown. We're not the same person. There's just so much. I don't think I realized that that was the life for me. And I had no clue. Obviously, I think most of us don't, but really I think fooled myself into thinking, "I'm just going to have her and I'm going to roll back onto the set and that's what I'm going to do and it's going to be all good."
And the funny thing is, is I did do that. I would go to set with her in my little carrier at 7, 8 weeks post-partum, whatever, and I'm like barely healed. Meanwhile, I'm exhausted, but I'm pushing myself because this is in my mind what I need to do because this is how I show up in a confident space. But it wasn't at all and I actually completely lost my confidence. And it really shook me to the point of being like, "Wait. Who are you? And what's going on?"
And I realized I was letting my job define me and I was letting the fact that I didn't want to put on a certain look that that was defining me and I went through my own battle within my own self of like, "Wow. Why am I feeling this way?" And that was when I realized because my confidence has been shook, I no longer felt confident in certain outfits and pushing myself to wear these because this is what pre-Ali did before she was a mom. But you're no longer that same Ali. You gave birth and, in my opinion, you go through a massive transformation. You create this life. It's beautiful. It is a huge change. And I don't think we give ourselves enough that space in society.
I realized that we've gone through this massive transformation in this beautiful rebirth of ourselves and our children, but also that we've changed, whether we like it or not. Our body's been changed because we've had our baby. Our mind's been changed because there's actual real science that shows how much that changes from you before mom to becoming a mom. There are so many changes that happen and we don't honor that, in my opinion, as a society. And I went through that and I realized like, "Wow. I didn't honor myself. And not only did I not honor myself, but then I shamed myself for not being able to wear the things I used to wear or not feeling comfortable in what I used to wear."
And I was like, "Why am I doing this to myself?" And when I went through my own real spiritual journey, if you will, I came out and realized, "Wow, you've just taught confidence like crazy, but you didn't realize your own confidence was shook and how do you even get back to that?" And how I got back to my confidence is when I tapped into my own authenticity. And that's why I'm so passionate about speaking authenticity because I realized like, "Yes, confidence is your best accessory and you can feel amazing and look amazing, but if you don't have the authenticity part of you, of who you truly are at the core, you don't have anything."
And I think for me, in Hollywood, to be real, I maybe wasn't fully authentically myself. I thought I was, but I don't think I was because I think I wouldn't have been maybe as shook as all the replacements and everything happened. I think I was playing a role as many do in the entertainment industry of doing what everybody asked me to do. Even though in the fashion side of things, I stuck to my guns, I still went along with things just as most people do in the industry.
And so, I think that I lost so much of who I was and what actually felt good to me, what actually was important to me, what I made time for. I realized I didn't have boundaries. I would see my clients at 1 in the morning because I didn't have anything else to do. Really, I had something else to do. I had time to be with my husband, but instead, it was like, "But I'm going to focus on my career." And I think as a mom, your priorities obviously shift and you realize what's really important and what you need to spend time on.
So, when I really started stepping into that authentic self and realizing, "This is important to me and I do need boundaries and I don't feel comfortable in that outfit anymore. I'm going to wear this instead for the red carpet and I'm going to make my own look and I'm going to do this," and there's all these different changes, that's when I started to really find my own inner peace with everything. And that's why for anyone, whether it's styling or anything, I tell everyone, "Authenticity is your super power. Confidence is so important, but you won't be confident if you can't be authentically yourself."
Wow. That's really powerful. I think that's something that we are having to navigate as mothers constantly because we do go through different phases of our identity before we become a mom, and then having little tiny babies and children that need us constantly physically and then as they get older, they need you so much more emotionally and financially really. And then, as kids start to leave the nest, that's a whole new transformation too. So, what would you say for those who are listening, how do you get through those phases in your experience and find your most authentic self?
That's a good question. I'm still on that journey. I think really digging into the core of who I am, like how you described, the transformations that we go through. We don’t even give ourselves the space to go through that. Society tells us just to get back up and just get going like you didn’t even have a baby and it's like you went through this massive change from the actual giving birth to then having this new baby and helping them literally survive and you're having to survive. There's so much going on.
And then, you come out of the survival of it all and you're like, "Okay. I survived somehow and now I have to pull myself back together." And you're still taking care of this little human, but somehow, they have somewhat graduated from survival. And it's like this ongoing journey and I think, in my opinion, we really need to come to the space of honoring ourselves. We talk about self-love. We talk about self-care, but truly honoring it, like honoring the grace. Perfect example I would give, I was on freakout mode when I had to cancel our recording because I was really looking forward to it and my daughter was teething and it was just a bad day for me. And you were like, "It's all good. All the grace, we will reschedule."
Things like that, I think is becoming maybe a little bit more normal because of the way the world has shifted, but before, we didn't honor that at all. It was like, "Nope, too bad. Your feelings, whatever's going on, whatever's happening in your home, it doesn’t matter. Just show up and just do it. It doesn't matter." I think we really need to come into the space especially as moms of really honoring how we feel. If you are not feeling something that day, don’t push yourself. Of course, show up for your family. Do what you need to do, but honor how you feel and dive into those feelings.
And we've been taught for so long not to feel, not to really experience our emotions. And it's like, but no that's actually the complete opposite of what we should be doing. If we honor ourselves and honor our emotions, we can come into the space of true authenticity. We can figure out what works for us and what doesn't. Change things because everyone's different. Everyone has a different quo. There's so many that are similar, but there are so many things that are so different, which makes us uniquely and beautifully us. There's only one Camille. There's only one Ali. And it's like finding that flow and finding that alignment of how that works and how it works for you. It might be different how it works for me. Does it make it wrong? No. It makes it different. It makes it something that works for you.
And I think that honoring that especially in motherhood and stop comparing moms. I know for me, that was a huge lesson, especially with social media and being an influencer online. I looked at every mom when I was post-partum. Every mom had the bounce back, the perfect boobs, the perfect thing, and I was like, "What is wrong with me? I used to look like that before I had my girl." And it was like such a mindfuck for me. It was like, "Oh my gosh. Why don't I look like that anymore?" And it was like, "Okay. Maybe right now, you don't look like that. Who's to say down the road you won't?"
Or maybe you won't. Maybe we just honor that that was the pre-mom body and now we celebrate the post-mom body. Why is it always the bounce back? Why can't we celebrate going forward and embrace that and embrace ourselves in that journey of, like you were saying, all the transformations, the constant growth, the constant evolvement? That's what I've come to in my journey and ongoing journey is really coming to this space of, how do I find my own inner peace? What really aligns with me really drawing serious boundaries as hard as it can be to draw and honoring myself for them and knowing that this is how I have my happy. This is how I take care of myself, my family, my husband, my girls, my home, and really know that that's what's important.
And, of course, your friends and your family and everyone else around you is important too, but your inner peace is the most important. And I think as moms we give that away so much. And so, I'm honestly still learning how to navigate boundaries and how to tap in and figure out if I ever feel like my inner peace is shook, I look to what is out of alignment. What am I not maybe drawing a boundary on? What has gone off in the last few days, weeks, whatever it might be, that now needs to be shifted and fixed?
And I listen more now to myself. I listen inward more. I feel like all I used to do was listen to outward for years. And now, in the last couple of years, I've really become very intuitive and listen to myself. And I do believe we are very intuitive as people and especially as mothers, but we don’t trust that for whatever reason. We trust everybody else tells us, the media, social media, the list goes on. We don’t listen to ourselves and I think the more we tap into ourselves and go on that journey of, "I can trust myself, these are my babies, my child," and trust within, the more that you're actually going to find the answers within you and again come back to that authentic space.
And for me, I had different practices. I meditate a lot. I meditate pretty much daily. I listen to sound frequencies. I do breath work. I’m very into the more grounded space. Sometimes, it's going on a walk. Sometimes, it's calling someone to have a conversation about something that I need to release and move through those emotions. Every day is different. Journaling was yesterday. I think it's just listening to that inner calling to yourself. What was going to help you? Maybe it's go sit and have a bowl of pasta, whatever it is, it's like just respect that and honor that instead of shaming yourself like, "Oh, why am I doing this? I should be doing something else." No. You should be doing this right now in this moment because this is how you honor yourself, so that you can go to the next moment and show up as your whole authentic self. So, I really don't think it's one answer. I think it really is what aligns with you and what you know connects to you.
That's amazing. I think that another part of that and I've been blogging for the past 10 years and my blog is called My Mommy Style, which is meant to be what is your style of mothering and really trusting that, whether it's in parenting or how you like to spend your free time or self-care, whatever those things. And I think that so often we forget that what other people's opinions don't matter. It really is about what creates that inner peace for you and your ability to hear your voice, so that you can live authentically and be solid in that.
What I found more often than not is that when I have friends or fellow mothers or business owners or whatever that are really settled with who they are and feel that inner peace that they afford you that same luxury of just like, "This is who I am, but I love that you are who you are." And it's not about keeping up with the Joneses, so to speak. It's more being supportive.
Right. Let's just honor that and exactly, just being supportive instead of, "You're doing it wrong. You should be doing it this way." It's like sure, you can share something if someone asks you or if you see someone struggling, by all means, share something that might help them. But at the end of the day, I learned that through motherhood, so many things were told to me of, "Do this and don’t do that," as we all do. There's so many, "Don't put the baby down. Don’t do this. Don’t let them cry." There's so many things and it's just like, "No, just listen to yourself. Whatever feels right, you know. You actually have everything inside of you if you just drown out all the noise." And that's the journey I've been on is continually tapping into that and finding more and more of my authentic self and within that, finding that inner peace.
That's awesome. I have a question about a couple of things that you talked about. When you were working with celebrities who we, as the general public would look at and think, "They're used to being in the public eye. They're used to knowing exactly what to say and exactly what to wear." I want you to speak to that a little bit about lifting the lens or the fog of the reality that everyone has insecurities and that everyone is working through refining who they are and their message and who they are as a person. Can you tell us about that a little bit what's it been like to work with celebrities?
For sure. It's funny. The world of celebrities is an interesting one. Everyone's different, of course. There are some who were extremely ego and were really not kind and that was hard to deal with because you're just trying to help them and you could tell they have their own inner demons, if you will, and triggers and they don't want to hear, "Oh, I want you to feel good in this." They just want you to dress them and move on. Usually, those were the clients I did one-offs with.
And then, there were the clients who really enjoyed the transformation and really would say to me, "I was not comfortable in that type of outfit and now I am." Perfect example, Lisa Vanderpump. She is incredible and the total not only boss babe, but just wonderful human and super kind and the list goes on. And she always wore her A-line dresses, period. That's all she wore. That was her comfort zone. It was her go-to every color, every style, every fabric, you name it, it'd be made to her to fit perfectly.
And when I came in, I was like, "All right. We're not doing the dresses anymore." And she was like, "Wait. This is my go-to. What do you mean?" And I was like, "You could still wear them, but we got to find another go-to. We got to find something else that you feel amazing in like these dresses. What else could we do?"
And I challenged her with different things and made a photoshoot and I got her in a jumpsuit. I'll never forget. She was so against it. Everyone on the team was giving me such a hard time that, "It's not going to come out right. We're going to have to change it. We're going to have to redo the cover." And I stuck to my gut because I knew it was going to work. And I was like, "She looks amazing. She feels good in it. She's just not comfortable because it's pushing her out of her comfort zone."
I want to explain. The difference between putting something on and being uncomfortable knowing you're never going to wear it and you're literally wearing it for someone else or because of another opinion or whatever it may be versus you're putting it on and you're stepping out of your comfort zone and getting outside of that box that we all love to live in and you're afraid and your vulnerability is telling you, "I can't do this, I can't do this," but really you know how you feel in it and you actually feel good and you actually are curious. But your vulnerability is bringing you backwards and saying, "No, this is outside of my comfort zone, outside of my box. I need to get back into my comfort zone."
So, there's a difference and I always tell people, I push that envelope of like, "Let's get you from comfortable to being uncomfortable, being comfortable being uncomfortable," that tongue twister, but you know what I mean? Really get you in that comfort zone of being uncomfortable versus you're in something and you're literally, "Who am I? What am I wearing and what do you have me in?" There's a difference. You know what I mean?
So, once I knew she was uncomfortable, but she was liking the jumpsuit, I was like, "We're going to give this a go. We're going to see how this plays out." And it was so funny because they gave me such a hard time. And then, the cover looked amazing and she ended up wearing it and it was a hit. And not only did it happen, but then it was such a transformation because all of a sudden, she realized like, "Wow. I actually really like these jumpsuits and this has pockets and these fit nice."
And then, she went to a red carpet and I got her another jumpsuit. She went to the red carpet. I'll never forget. I had so many emails from random people I've never met in my life before, they're all everywhere. They were like, "She hasn't looked that good in I don't know how many years. I just wanted to tell you I was blown away." And she got best-dressed everywhere and every single article was writing about her and it was wild. And, of course, the press is great, not going to lie, it was huge for my career but the feeling, the emails, the frequency, the vibration, everything around it of her being in such an incredible space of really her authentic self and feeling it and everyone around her feeling it and being so excited for her in it was major for me.
I was like, "Wow. This is the transformation." This is the feeling of taking that step from that comfortable to uncomfortable and really being like, "Wow. I can own this and I can be in a new space, but still be within my own comfort zone and build my new comfort zone." And so, it was really cool to get to then watch her then even without working with me go out and get jumpsuits for her own closet and start wearing these different jumpsuits for different shoots. And she went on Watch What Happens Live and she'd let me know she found a jumpsuit in New York City and she bought it and she wore it on the show. This was a woman who would only wear these A-line dresses.
That's actually great timing because I have a cleaning lady here today too and this is a perfect moment for everyone listening to know that we as mom bosses have help. We're not doing things solo. We rely on a village of people. And what's interesting is about what you were just saying with stepping into that uncomfortable and being comfortable with being uncomfortable, I think that so applies to so many things in our life, whether that's starting the new business or trying out a new outfit or pursuing new friendships or looking for ways to reconnect with your spouse, reigniting something that maybe you feel uncomfortable with.
Absolutely. All areas of your life, yeah. Absolutely, I love that you said that.
Yeah, totally. So, yeah, what in your life now is you stepping into something uncomfortable that you're trying to make comfortable?
So much. That's been my journey all this year. Really being honest about when I feel like doing something and showing up somewhere and when I don't. For example, being an "influencer" which by the way I'm so ready for there to be a new word for that, but whatever this space on social and content creating being one of my jobs, I had to really surrender the fact that I didn't want to show up every day on stories anymore. I don't have the energy for it. I don’t feel it's productive.
And my agency has been around me, "We have to beat the algorithm. We have to do this. We have to do that." And I was like, "No. I'm not anymore. I'm not going to do it because I'm being told to. I will do it when it's alignment to come on and I will share and I will do what I want to do, but I'm not going to worry about I'm not going to get booked with so and so. I'm not going to get to work with so and so because I'm not showing up every day and giving my time and energy and heart and soul to this app that wants me to be a slave on there all the time."
Right? We're given these opportunities where it's like, "Hey, we need you to talk about this brand. We need you to do this," but I think I finally had to surrender to that and be like, "No, I'm not going to" because I did use to show up all the time every hour, constantly posting. Sometimes, even posting things like I didn't know what I was posting. I was just on because I had to be on. It's like can we just normalize the fact that we don't have to be on all the time, that we can take a break?
We should take a break and especially in the social space, showing up in alignment and posting what we want to post. Same thing. I haven't posted in days. And they were like, "You need to post. You're not showing up in the algorithm." And I'm like, "I'm not showing up in the algorithm. When I post again, I'm sure I'll show up again." I've given myself that permission to really not only show up authentically online, but really to shift the, "You must be on, you must be there all the time" to "No. I'm going to honor what I feel and what feels right and when it's in alignment, I'm going to post."
Obviously, I post for campaigns and things I'm paid for because it's my job. But other than that, I've told myself I'm going to give myself permission to change that language of, as an influencer, you always have to be online to you're going to be online when it's in alignment for you. And I think that no matter what it is that we're doing, we should really ask ourselves, is this in divine alignment for me? Do I want to be doing this? Does this serve me or serve others? Ask yourself those questions because if it doesn't, what are you doing and how are you going to change it?
That's been my continuous journey of trying out all these different things now in my life. And another thing is I've recently launched a breath work program because I really fell into breath work and how helpful it was for me to become grounded and to really be in that high frequency state. And especially when the world was crazy, be able to really take myself to higher frequencies and vibrations and feel good about how I was feeling and being pregnant during that time. Breath work really helped me.
So, I recently launched this program with this company called Soaak and it was totally out of my comfort zone. I'm a stylist. I'm a TV personality. I do all these other things. I’m not known as someone in the breath work space. But I took a bunch of breath work training this past summer because I really was in love with it and passionate about it. And I got the opportunity to do a bunch of trainings and I got certified. And I was like, "All right. You know what? This is something that helps me."
Again, I'm always all about confidence. This is something that can help other people become confident as well on a cellular level within their body and in their mind, body and soul's how I feel. And so, it's been very nerve-wracking to share constantly this new program, what I'm doing, and check out this app and have people go listen and hear me doing breath work on the app and listen to myself. But I've pushed myself and I'm not going to lie, there are some days it's still very nerve-wracking when people are like, "Oh, I listen." And I'm like, "Oh, what did you think?"
But it's exciting. It's exciting to get to be in a new space. I'm playing within my own head for 2022 how I can maybe marry the worlds of helping with empowerment and styling and breath work and bringing something really cool together. Really bringing that mind, body, and soul because I'm feeling very called to that space. And it's an ongoing journey.
I think when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, really beautiful things happen. We're taught not to be and to just stay really within ourselves and just pretend that everything's fine and keep going. And I think we've all learned especially in this time that that's not true and we've all been through a lot. And I think that not only honoring those emotions, but then stepping into that vulnerability and saying, "How can I be vulnerable and maybe this is going to make me nervous, but what's it going to shift for me? What's it going to open up for me?" Maybe it's something I would never aligned with, all of a sudden now, I'm getting to do.
I, long story short, met Soaak for my podcast. I met with the CEO because I love their sound frequencies. Their app is all sound frequencies. So, for anybody who doesn't know, sound frequency is literally at a cellular level. You're listening to these higher sound frequencies to essentially change your mindset, the way you feel. There's actual science behind it can actually change your cells and your body because your cells are always listening.
And so, I got really into this and I started listening to all these sounds. And even with the girls, they'd be having little arguments. I would turn on a frequency and, all of a sudden, I would notice they would calm and all these different things. Yeah, really powerful. And I was like, "Wow, this is amazing. This is really cool."
And so, I had the CEO on and started talking with them and I told them I was starting to get into breath work. And they were like, "It's really cool." And I was like, "Yeah, I'm really new to it and doing training. So, who knows?" But they came to me months later and they were like, "Did you do your training?" And I was like, "Yeah, I got certified." They're like, "Would you want to do a breath work program with our frequency?" And I was like, "Okay."
So cool, yeah.
It was exciting, but it was nerve-wracking because it was like I'm not an expert per se. This isn't my wheelhouse. But it's really cool and I think I would say to anyone, challenge yourself. If you're feeling either burned out or you're feeling like you have something burning inside of you, but you're afraid because you've never been in that space before or it feels uncomfortable, when you get uncomfortable, that's when the gold happens. That's when everything really starts to play. That's when you feel divine alignment.
In my opinion, you're connecting to your higher self and you're allowing yourself to go to that next level and no longer play small and say, "I'm going to be here because this is what's comfortable and this is also what society has told me is comfortable, so I'm going to stay here." And when you take that leap of faith, you will be rewarded. It may take a minute, but you will be. And it's the journey I'm on is allowing myself really going to 2022 to continue taking these leaps of faith.
I'm starting another podcast. It's going to be all about my spirituality journey called Awakening with Ali and there's a lot of changes for me coming onto the horizon, but I'm excited now and nervous all in one. I think it's important especially nowadays to really honor what you feel and what you might be being told, as you spoke to, with your intuition and what really when you go within, you feel like is connected to you on a soul level. So, that's really where my heart is going on this new year.
Yay! I think this is going to be a perfect first episode for 2022. And for those of you who are listening, I would love to hear about what you thought about this episode as well as really diving into setting an intention for yourself. What is that uncomfortable comfortable that you need to identify and what does that look like going into the new year? I think that's the perfect challenge for 2022. Yeah.
I love that.
So, tell our audience where they can find you online. I know there's so many places, but give us a run-through.
Sure. So, my website is alilevine.com. I have all my updates there, all the things I've got going on. If you want to book me, I am still styling. I’m just doing everything remotely at this point. So, a lot of people ask me, "Oh, you're not styling anymore?" And I'm like, "No. I am." I've just shifted, so mostly remote, but you can totally book me for whatever on there.
And then, my breath work's on there for the Soaak app. Soaak is actually a website. So, you can go to soaak.com for the Soaak app on your phone. And then, you can just go and you'll see the app and download it. And you can check out all the frequencies. I have a code, so I'll share it with your audience. It's ALI70 and that'll give you 70% off, so you can jump on the premium program and really dive in, really inexpensive, and just get to listen and feel out and see what you think. And then, you'll also get to experience my breath work program along with all the amazing frequencies and other programs.
So, if this resonated for you, I highly recommend you dive in and try it out because sound frequency has personally changed my life, and then adding in breath work I think has just been magical, so for anyone that it does resonate with. And then, my social is Ali Levine Design, just A-L-I L-E-V-I-N-E Design, no S. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, you name it, that's where I'm at.
And please, if something resonated with you, feel free to DM me. Even though I don't show up on social every day, I do check my DMs. I do get back. I love connecting. The biggest thing is community, so I love to build community and have amazing authentic empowering conversations. So, if something resonated with you or you have any questions or whatever, please feel free to be vulnerable and reach out. I will respond.
Awesome. Thank you so much for being on today, Ali. You are awesome.
Thanks for having me.
If you enjoyed today's episode, please let me know. Come and find me on social media @callmeceopodcast on Instagram. You can also find me @camillewalker.co on Instagram and TikTok. And I love hearing from you one-on-one. If you have suggestions or ideas about a podcast episode you might want to hear from or topics, I am all ears and I love to hear everything that you're working on too. Let's be friends.
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